The Draft Environmental Impact Report has been published for 550 East Brokaw Road, a multi-phase office development in North San Jose. The proposal will replace the former Fry’s Electronics store and surface parking lot to build four office towers and two parking garages. Bay West Development is responsible for the project.
The project will create six structures with 3.8 million square feet of floor area. Of the four office structures, one will be a standalone tower, and three will have two pairs of towers connected to a shared podium. There will be 1.93 million square feet of office space and 1.65 million square feet between the nine-story and ten-story garage. In sum, the property will have the capacity for 5,385 cars and 410 bicycles.
Gensler is the project architect. The offices will be wrapped with curtain wall glass. The massing will be broken up to diminish the overall scale visually. Setbacks on the first floor and top floors will create opportunities for terraces. The exteriors will include cantilevered roofs, vertical louvers, and overhanging architectural elements to provide shade. The color palette will also be light with whites and copper to emphasize the greenery.
The office buildings will be positioned around the inner-block street and two green belts, extending east-west and acting as a pedestrian spine cutting through the block. The landscaping will include terraces walls, steps, seating, accent plant, and strips of planted trees.
The property will provide a variety of amenities in common areas. An amphitheater will occupy the northwest corner of the lot. A picnic area and a plaza will be by Tower 3B. Each tower will include open-air terraces on the second and seventh floors to be used by future tenants. Gathering spaces will be spread across the lot with patios, meeting pods, and other outdoor furniture.
Construction is expected to start as soon as October 2023 across four phases. Each phase is expected to last 23 months. Completion is expected by 2031. CBG is consulting as the project’s civil engineer.
The Draft EIR details a few known issues that the proposal will likely face and need to provide solutions to, including the impact on birds due to the light and loss of trees, the impact on congestion in San Jose and Santa Clara, and the potential impacts to undiscovered cultural resources from the indigenous people.
The San Jose Planning Department recently published a notice for the beginning of public comments on the Draft EIR, an opportunity for people to provide input to improve the proposal’s integration with the area and wider city.
The City published a summary of the environmental impact of 550 East Brokaw, stating, “the proposed project will have potentially significant environmental effects with regard to biological, cultural, hazardous materials, noise and vibration, transportation, and tribal cultural resources.” The public review period has started for the Draft EIR, with the review period lasting through June 24th. For more information, see the city website of the DEIR here.